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  1. #1
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    Mandaloopy's Avatar
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    Teaching children with "challenging behavior"

    There are a few teachers (and parents!) on here, I'd appreciate any extra tips on this topic!

    A bit about my students:

    There are an entitled bunch and can present quite the challenge to teach. They spit, fight, bite, insult, scratch, bully, throw stuff at each other and teachers. I would summerise that there are a few reasons for this, perhaps I am wrong, perhaps I am right or halfway there.

    1. Most kids just want attention, if they can't get it they are masters at taking it through attention seeking, being overly clingy and sadly sometimes, violent outbursts.

    2. Poor role models: When a second grader thinks nothing of punching a girl, they are clearly learning this behavior from somewhere; this is rather hard to challenge, as it would involve me questioning parenting skills, I think I would be out of a job here sharpish if I tried sadly.

    3. Students can't access learning materials in a meaningful/ school environment: Simply put, 80% of my students struggle with a curriculum that was designed for native speakers, it's no surprise they get restless and frustrated. I'm given a lot of freedom in how I teach, so this is one area I really can change to differentiate my learners' needs. An ESL curriculum would make this way less time consuming, but I'm not going to get it so long preps in the evenings aren't going away anytime soon. There is no recess here, it is just too cold in winter and the school seems hard to convince about the advantages (erm, vital need) of free play for children.


    How I am dealing with it

    1. Consistency with classroom rules; so far behavior seems to be improving, at least it isn't getting worse!
    2. Making lessons hands-on and engaging- kids need to move, so I try to center my lessons around an activity or meaningful play in English.
    3. Using Class Dojo- a good online tool that parents can connect with if they want- it has nipped the worst behavior and most low-level disruption in the bud...for now!!!
    4. Differentiating and scaffolding the curriculum: my students are not at the level for much independent writing, so they need a lot of extra supported learning before they tackle the main book.

    Things I am struggling with:

    I feel like I am spoonfeeding them at times, I hate teaching like that.

    Behavior can sometimes flip and actually turn quite violent- it's pretty to see young children dealing with life's challenges in such a way.

    They are hopelessly disorganized and rarely come to class prepared and with a good attitude, this is mostly a grade 2 issue as for some reason grade 1 and even kindy are much much better at this.

    Teaching concepts such as writing poems to children who can't spell simple CVC words; this makes rhyming a little tricky!

    With such low levels of English, it is hard to get them to critically engage and analyze- I think there are far too young to be doing this in second grade if English is not their first language, don't have any choice in the matter- that darn book needs to be filled in.

  2. #2
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    LSD you or them case solved

  3. #3
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    I am in awe of you.

    I taught children for one year - in Thailand (1996).
    After that year, I reflected that if any one of those munchkins was mine, I'd have preferred a number of other staff members to be their instructor.
    Been w/ adults ever since...

    Hats off to ya.

    Sorry no help.

  4. #4
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    Children and when young can be a handful particularly Asian males.

    Try corporal punishment and then you can deal with adults.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
    Children and when young can be a handful particularly Asian males.

    Try corporal punishment and then you can deal with adults.
    You jest, but last year a parent apparently told an old hand that the children don't listen to you "because you don't beat the shit out of them!". What a charming mentality and perhaps an insight into why these kids fight so much

  6. #6
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    Manda;

    1. Are you qualified to teach?
    2. Are you qualified to teach grade 2?
    3. How old are your pupils? Grade 2 can mean many things.
    4. What's the gender range?
    5. do you have Thai speaking teacher assistants?
    6. What is the school discipline policy? Is there a whole school policy?
    7. Have you been given a "curriculum" to follow? What is it?
    8. how long are your lessons meant to last?
    9. How many pupils in your class?
    10. How many hours do you have them? All day, an hour a day, a half day?
    11. What has the management told you to do, precisely.
    12. Describe the class room. Is it your room or the classes room? Are you a visitor or are the class entering your domain?

    That'll do to start.

    Over to you.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandaloopy View Post
    You jest
    No I do not mate!

    My youngest daughter (15) got accepted into Assumption school and was slapped across the head in her first week as the teacher assumed she had let another student copy her work.

    Corporal punishment in that school is well documented and for those young students that step out of line.

    Teachers don't talk about it, parents accept it and if their kids deserve it and that is that!

    Kids learn to behave and do what they are there to do..............Learn!

  8. #8
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    I think he's working with native Mongols in Ulan Bator now

  9. #9
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    My students have found that Kahoot.com and Quizizz.com actitivites are quite nice if your kids have phones...probably a bit much for the P1 class, but the P2 class should get kahoot.com quite easily.

    Perhaps some rewards for good behavior/being organized/good academics during the last 5 minutes of class with a grand "weekly" award might help.
    "I was a good student. I comprehend very well, OK, better than I think almost anybody," - President Trump comparing his legal knowledge to a Federal judge.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by david44 View Post
    I think he's working with native Mongols in Ulan Bator now
    Guess I can cuss in Thai and nobody would be any the wiser...

  11. #11
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    How cold is it now and how cold does it get during winter?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy View Post
    No I do not mate!

    My youngest daughter (15) got accepted into Assumption school and was slapped across the head in her first week as the teacher assumed she had let another student copy her work.

    Corporal punishment in that school is well documented and for those young students that step out of line.

    Teachers don't talk about it, parents accept it and if their kids deserve it and that is that!

    Kids learn to behave and do what they are there to do..............Learn!


    Shame on the teachers and more so shame on the parents.
    Corporal punishment has no part to play in education.
    It simply displays the inadequate teaching skills of the teaching staff and the moronic attitudes of the management.

    Corporal punishment is child abuse.
    Child abuse is now a mandatory reporting offence in Australia and elsewhere.

    I'm appalled to learn that you think it's OK for your 15 year old to be slapped across the head on the supposition that she's done something
    wrong.

    Astonishing.

  13. #13
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    ^ And teaches that violence solves problems or unwanted behavior. Absolutely not allowed where I work, although in the public school system it still goes on in Mongolia.

    Winter? It can get down to -45, as much as I like outdoor lessons, there is no way I am risking death and frostbite for anyone involved.

  14. #14
    Utopian Expat Chittychangchang's Avatar
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    There's a fantastic interactive maths site called mathletics. Com which encouraging kids of all ages and abilities to competes with other children around the globe.
    Can be used for teaching about geography also, will post up a link later.

  15. #15
    Utopian Expat Chittychangchang's Avatar
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    Here's a 2 week free trial for your school..
    Explore Mathletics with a free trial in your school

    Believe me it improves the childrens focus, Maths and English.

    Can be added into the classroom as a tool for discussion with rewards for good behaviour.

  16. #16
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    When you described the behaviour, I thought for sure you were teaching in Thailand, until you mentioned the weather. You are right to blame the parents. In the West we teach our children how to behave before we send them to school. Most Thai parents teach their children nothing about how to behave at school, they don't think it is their job. They think it is the teachers job to teach behaviour. So you have a room full of children that act like animals.

  17. #17
    Utopian Expat Chittychangchang's Avatar
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    What children with challenging behaviour need ideally is one to one attention. Impossible with a class full and limited time.
    Putting the fear of God into certain ring leaders and the most disruptive might help but don't bet on it.
    It's difficult a job dealing with kids in your native tongue let alone a different culture and language.
    Just do what you do and don't stress to much about it.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mandaloopy View Post
    Most kids just want attention, if they can't get it they are masters at taking it through attention seeking, being overly clingy and sadly sometimes, violent outbursts.
    It's possible that you are seeing it like this because you have a Western POV. I'm not saying that all kids around the world don't need attention, I'm saying that your kids might not be acting up because of attention-seeking, but acting up because of cultural reasons...and thus not "acting up", per se, but simply doing what they know.
    My wife is teaching in a low-decile school where some of the kids only aspirations are to become fighting bull owners and to go to bull fights. Some of the kids have been told by their parents, "Never let the teacher win". These peasants despise those of a higher station and pass this attitude on to the kids.
    In Mongolia, it's possible there is something like that going on, or possibly a deeper cultural theme of violence and dominance.

    Just a suggestion.
    How to deal with it? I don't know, but seeing it for what it is would be a start.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by crackerjack101 View Post
    I'm appalled to learn that you think it's OK for your 15 year old to be slapped across the head on
    Where did I say I approved of the action?

    I wanted to protest and I was told that is an accetable measure in the school and the other parents had not protested.

  20. #20
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    When i was a kid and you stepped out of line you copped a whack,didn't do me any harm.
    Give them some discipline.


  21. #21
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maanaam View Post
    It's possible that you are seeing it like this because you have a Western POV. I'm not saying that all kids around the world don't need attention, I'm saying that your kids might not be acting up because of attention-seeking, but acting up because of cultural reasons...and thus not "acting up", per se, but simply doing what they know.
    My wife is teaching in a low-decile school where some of the kids only aspirations are to become fighting bull owners and to go to bull fights. Some of the kids have been told by their parents, "Never let the teacher win". These peasants despise those of a higher station and pass this attitude on to the kids.
    In Mongolia, it's possible there is something like that going on, or possibly a deeper cultural theme of violence and dominance.

    Just a suggestion.
    How to deal with it? I don't know, but seeing it for what it is would be a start.
    Nail on head...when in Rome...

    Not poopooing any of the above but western values, principles and mindset are fine in the west, for the west, though they tend not to apply elsewhere for too many obvious and some not so obvious reasons to outline here. You can try, using an extreme example just as empire builders with supreme authority have tried, and some may stick but it's a long and difficult process, far longer and harder than your position and qualifications allow. Obsession is for young people, and best result after you burn yourself out is to be persuaded that your efforts have made a significant difference, but that would be by going head on against nature and devaluing the powerful influence of culture and tradition.

    One example is how things work in Thailand, which importantly the people accept so who are you or anyone else to demand that it be different? This is not to say it can't be done, just that innate changes must be made by them, not by farangs.
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  22. #22
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    I'd bribe them with sweets.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by armstrong View Post
    I'd bribe them with sweets.
    Is ritalin sweet?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSFFan View Post
    Is ritalin sweet?
    FTFY mate...

  25. #25
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    ...there's not much you can do, Mandy, if the school admin doesn't back you up completely...if aggressive behavior is tolerated because Ss=$, you're already defeated and all the wonderful games, quizzes, distracting activities and empty threats of dire punishment will be ineffective...you're a sacrificial lamb on the front lines while the admin staff do little to support you...I say leave well before your contract is up unless, of course (like Saudi), you're an exit visa prisoner...
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

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